Accession Number : AD0658009

Title :   LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE,

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s) : Dole,S. H.

Report Date : SEP 1967

Pagination or Media Count : 21

Abstract : If life will appear whenever the conditions are tolerable, as stated by many modern scientists, and if there are numerous planets in the right mass rang orbiting at the proper distance around suitable stars, then life must be quite common. Assuming here that the word life, wherever it appears, implies life based on water and on carbon compounds, that is, life 'as-we-know-it' and as found on the surface of the earth. There are some very good arguments in support of this. Another argument depends on the very unusual properties of water and of the compounds of carbon. Water is an amazing material--there is no other compound that comes close to it in many of its properties. Similarly, no other element but carbon has the property of being able to form such an enormous variety of complicated long-chain compounds--as are demanded by life processes. Something like half-a-million compounds of carbon have been identified--which is perhaps 50 times as many as all the chemical compounds that do not contain carbon.

Descriptors :   (*SPACE BIOLOGY, *SOLAR SYSTEM), (*PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES, CHEMICAL ELEMENTS), STARS, SUN, PLANETS, GALAXIES, ASTRONOMY, WATER, CARBON COMPOUNDS

Subject Categories : Astronomy
      Biology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE